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Pickup-Mounted Mobile Scaffold
David Montalbano and his wife Saundra built a 40 by 80-ft., two-story shop with an upstairs apartment. They did much of the work themselves.
"I needed a scaffold wide enough and long enough that my wife would work on it and feel safe," says Montalbano.
He knew they couldn't afford the time and hassle of moving scaffolds over the rough ground. His solution was to design a pickup-mounted pin and socket pipe system that lets him add as needed.
"I had previously replaced the truck bed with a headache rack of 2-in. sq. steel tubing," says Montalbano.
He used the same tubing to replace the front and rear bumpers. With sockets made from 1 1/4-in. pipe mounted to both bumpers and the headache rack, Montalbano had the base for his scaffold.
Uprights of 1-in. pipe on both bumpers were stabilized with a cross member of 8 ft. long, 2-in. square tubes. An 8-ft. long tube was also mounted to the sockets on the headache rack. Angle braces from the tube ends back to the pipes added strength and stability to the scaffold, while tying the scaffold to the headache rack eliminated potential center sway.
To add stability and to deal with uneven terrain, Montalbano added outriggers to the bumpers. He welded lengths of 2-in. pipe with 1 1/2-in. inserts to the ends of the bumpers. Each set of pipes was drilled to accept a removable pin for adjustable heights.
"I welded a piece of chain on each of the bumpers," explains Montalbano. "They let me use an old hook-style bumper jack to lift the truck and set the outriggers to the appropriate heights to level the scaffold."
Montalbano used C purlins for scaffold beams, mounting them to sockets on the crossbars. Five 4 by 8-ft., 3/4-in. plywood sheets laid over the C purlins create an 8 by 20-ft. work platform. When it's time to move to a higher level, the sheets are removed. Pipes with cross rails are inserted in the sockets that secured the C purlins. The C purlins and plywood sheets are then reinstalled at the higher level.
"I built two sets of uprights and cross bars, one at a 3-ft. height and one at a 6-ft. height," says Montalbano. "With the initial 6-ft. height at the top of the headache rack, we can raise our work level to 9, 12 or 15 ft. of height. The 8-ft. width and 20-ft. length gives us plenty of room for cutting and stacking materials and tools."
Montalbano estimates the entire scaffolding setup cost less than a couple hundred dollars, but saved countless hours of setup and takedown time.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David Montalbano, 481 Durant Rd., Pollok, Texas 75969 (ph 713 467-8937; cell 713 548-3624).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #6